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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Tuesday Lectionary Leanings~~Rule of three edition

or as the sheep says...., "It's deja vu all over again!" But first, a prayer:

O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.  Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter

We have a wealth of riches this week, preaching friends, and whether you want to make something of it or not, the number three occurs more than once in the texts assigned for  this third Sunday of Easter.

Our reading from the Acts of the Apostles chronicles that critical story of Saul/Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus. I love how it begins, "Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples..." That should get everyone's attention. After having a vision and being struck blind, Saul is visited by Ananias after three days, regains his sight and almost immediately begins to preach, proclaiming Jesus as Lord.

And then we have what may be my favorite post resurrection story. Peter (Peter the Denyer, anyone?), ever the one to be slow to catch on, is on the beach with some of the disciples when the resurrected Jesus joins them, his third post-resurrection visit. Seeing that they have no fish, he directs them where to cast the net, and when it is full to overflowing and they head back to shore, the Beloved Disciple finally recognizes Jesus. After they eat, perhaps giving Peter an opportunity to make up for his three denials, Jesus asks Peter three times, "Peter, do you love me?" and follows up with "...then feed my sheep."

If stories with three (days, sheep, questions) don't appeal, the reading from the Revelation of John provides a cast of thousands proclaiming, "Worthy is the lamb that was slaughtered..."

Where are you headed this third week of Easter? Are you joining Saul on the road to Damascus, or having breakfast on the beach with Jesus and Peter? Perhaps you are proclaiming glory to the lamb, or maybe you are off lectionary and headed in a whole other direction. If you know where you are being called, or if you are still listening for the scripture to speak to you, join in the discussion!

Readings may be found here or here.


  1. Breakfast on the beach -- one of my very favorites! I'm saving it for when I return from retreat in two weeks, partly because I have a sustainable sermon in the wings if I need it, and partly because it might be a perfect transition between 9 days of silence and back-to-church. And because I'll have all of your comments to ponder!

  2. Have you noticed how many of the appearance stories involve food?
    There must be a message in that....

    I am going with John and pondering what do we do when our world is changed. I read something yesterday that reminded me that while in English translations we just see "love" in the questions and answers, in the Greek we see a mix of agape and phileo. That interchange, and how Christ meets Peter where he is at, will influence the final sermon.

    My early thoughts can be read here

    1. I am also remembering that in the life of faith love needs to be seen as a verb rather than an emotion. SO how do we answer Christ's question in action?

  3. I'm going with Acts. It never occurred to me that Saul's Damascus Road experience was a post-resurrection appearance. I've been reading Borg and Crossan's The Last Week and it has me pondering on this. That's as far as I've gotten ... pondering.

  4. I appear to be all done and dusted - I had to stop working or I'd have gone over my paid hours for the week, and my husband was working from home, so I sat down and it wrote itself. Taking both Peter and Paul as examples of men who needed, and accepted God's love and forgiveness, and saying that even if that were the end of the story (as it is with Cornelius and the Ethiopian eunuch and Onesimus), it would be fantastic; but it isn't, as both men then committed themselves to serving God, and as a result millions of lives have been changed down the centuries. With the obvious application.....

    1. Wow! That's great to have a done and dusted sermon on a Tuesday. Kudos to you!

  5. warning!! rant time. Nothing to do with sermon prep.
    I am in a regional leadership position in a denomination, and am dealing with some complaints against ministers, as well as all the normal parish stuff. Some ministers are unbelievably foolish, stupid, insensitive ..... words are now failing me and that is very unusual. Now to try and think of a way to respond to the latest e-mail, that will actually help the situation rather than telling the minister what I actually think of them. [not that the person making a complaint against this minister is one I would like in my congregation :)]


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